The Acting Director of Education, Dr Kasan Troupe, assured that the ghost teachers hired by the Ministry of Education for 10 months will continue to be paid as they provide one-on-one support to some students.
The troupe was responding to concerns that this category of teachers was in high demand due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and other issues with their payments and benefits.
Speaking at a Ministry of Education press conference on Monday, Troupe clarified the definition of a shadow teacher.
“Just to clarify, ghost teachers are what we call education paraprofessionals, and therefore, they are people who are high school graduates, may have been exposed to post-secondary education, (or) have a natural propensity to working with children, and then they indicate that interest to us,” she explained.
These individuals are then trained and deployed to work with students who have been referred to the Department of Education after being assessed by a psycho-educational clinician.
“They (the clinicians) send us a report to say that this student, for example, will need help going to the bathroom, he needs help with eating or will need help with classroom tasks” , informed Troupe.
Ghost teachers, she said, can also be people referred to the Ministry of Education by parents.
These people are caregivers who work with children at home and then are trained after being referred to the ministry.
“They (shadow teachers) are paid under a contract arrangement for 10 months across the system from September to June, and we pay them based on this facility that we have provided to our children,” said underlined Troop.
“…And so the benefits under this contract will be extended to these individuals as they move into this paraprofessional experience, to support our students who need individualized support,” he said. she stated.